Quarantine and Isolation (Updated 2/4/21)

Quarantine or Isolation

Quarantine (changed to 10-day duration on 1/6/21) is for students without symptoms of COVID-19. Its purpose is to keep individuals away from others while they self-monitor for the development of symptoms during COVID-19’s incubation period and/or while they await test results.

Isolation is used to separate people with COVID-19 from people who are not infected. Its purpose is to contain the spread of the virus while the individual recovers from their illness.

Guidelines for Arrival

All new Graduate School students, whether they traveled recently or are already in Ithaca, should review the latest information on the spring semester start-up. View Cornell’s COVID Arrival Testing webpage for the full details.

All students must:

  • Complete Cornell’s Spring Checklist. If you have traveled, record your arrival date so surveillance testing can begin.
  • Comply with NYS rules regarding testing and quarantine and complete the New York state Traveler Health form.
  • Complete all required steps in Cornell Daily Check. It will provide you with personalized testing information. 

If you are arriving from a contiguous state (CT, MA, PA, NJ, VT):

  • Give yourself enough time in Ithaca to complete the Daily Check testing requirements prior to your need to be on campus. Testing availability the week prior to classes resuming may be limited. 

If you are arriving from a non-contiguous state or another country:

  • Take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to your departure if you can.  
  • Then, plan to quarantine for five days upon arrival. The checklist will guide you to complete a Cornell surveillance test on days two and four after your arrival. 
  • If you are unable to obtain a test within three days prior to arriving in New York state, you are required to complete a 10-day quarantine upon arrival in NYS.
  • More details about arrival requirements for students can be found on the university’s COVID-19 website

Surveillance testing for students in the Ithaca area remains a requirement of the Behavioral Compact. Students in research degrees who were granted an exception or reduced testing schedule will be asked to renew their requests later in January if they wish to have the exemption extended for the spring term.